Throughout the season, we at 32 Flags will be giving you a complete recap of the action at the end of the weekend in our Weekend Soccer Roundup. Not only will we run down the biggest winners and losers, but the highlights and most talked about moments of the weekend.
1) Biggest Winner – Inter
Inter were literally the big winners this weekend. They trounced Sassuolo 7-0 in league play and completely dominated the game.
2) Standout Performer – Diego Costa/Chelsea
What can we say about Diego Costa? The man has exploded onto the scene and got his first hat trick in his EPL career against 2nd place Swansea this weekend. In four games, he has seven goals and doesn’t look like he’s stopping any time soon. Chelsea certainly looks unstoppable at this point.
3) Biggest Loser – Real Madrid
I know it’s early but Real Madrid has been struggling for points. Granted, they played and lost to Atletico Madrid 2-1 this weekend so that could be expected but after three games, they have a negative goal differential and are currently 13th in the table. Real is still going to comfortably be in the top three in the table but Barcelona and Atletico certainly have the upper hand at this point in the season.
4) Best Tweet
Our latest installment of “Where in the World is David Moyes?”
— Isaac Bushnell (@IBushnell) September 13, 2014
5) Biggest Surprise – Aston Villa
I just noticed that Aston Villa is currently 2nd in the table. Yeah, even though it’s only four games into the season, I never thought that would happen. Their stats have been rather unimpressive, other than their win against Liverpool this weekend, but they’re winning their games and will need it because they have Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton in the next four games.
6) Best Moment – Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Soccer fans in America have to make some sacrifices to enjoy the game we love. One of those things is watching games at odd hours of the day. The early EPL game starts at 7:30 am et/4:30 am pt so it takes a lot to wake someone up early on a Saturday morning to watch a soccer game. Games like Arsenal/Man City really make waking up early on a Saturday a lot easier.
7) Best Goal – Jeremy Menez
It’s from The Locker but I just had to post this here too. There were some terrific goals today but this one took the cake. It was so nice, I’m posting it twice.
8) Extra Time – Manchester United
Manchester United beat QPR 4-0 and to the general public, many think Manchester United is back. Call me cynical but I’m going to bring everyone back down to earth. Manchester United defeated Queens Park Rangers, not Chelsea. If they beat a top team like this, then I’ll be convinced they can compete for the top four. Also, this game only helped alleviate their lack of scoring, which wasn’t the problem in the first place. Their defending unit is still horrible but they didn’t need to defend all that much when they had the ball 70% of the time. Looking at their four games, the two games where they had clean sheets consisted of two teams (Burnley and QPR) who recently promoted and generally “park the bus.”
The way to beat Manchester United is to go after and attack them and not hold back. Going after an opponents weakness is Coaching 101. You can’t just “park the bus” and let Man U keep the ball for 2/3 of the game like what QPR did. Doing that leaves their weakest part of the team off the hook and allow the strongest part of the team with all the control. Get aggressive and attack their defenders because “parking the bus” will just result in target practice for Man U’s attackers and then they’ll put up four goals on you like they did to QPR this weekend. MK Dons, while obviously not as talented, took it to Man U and that’s how they beat Man U 4-0 in the Capital One Cup. Granted, Manchester United had their backups in the lineup, but even they should’ve beaten a League One team instead of being dominated by them.